How to Recognize the Symptoms of Chlamydia in Women

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Recognize the Symptoms of Chlamydia in Women
Recognize the Symptoms of Chlamydia in Women

How to Recognize the Symptoms of Chlamydia in Women. Most women routinely get tested for chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during their annual gynecological exams. This is a good practice, as chlamydia is an extremely common STD, affecting millions of Americans annually. Chlamydia is sometimes referred to as a "silent epidemic" because it produces no symptoms in nearly 75 percent of women who have it.

Recognize the Symptoms of Chlamydia in Women

Know that a fever is the most common symptom of chlamydia. If you have a sudden onset of fever within 1 to 3 weeks of having sexual intercourse, especially with a partner you don't know very well, you should get tested for chlamydia.

Look for unusual vaginal discharge. Discharge that is cloudy, watery or foul smelling can be a sign of chlamydia. Also, any drastic increase in the volume of discharge should also be looked upon with suspicion.

Recognize inappropriate bleeding. If you experience vaginal bleeding outside of your menstrual period and you are not ovulating, you could be experiencing a common symptom of chlamydia.

Know the signs of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can develop if chlamydia is left untreated in women. Recognize that symptoms of PID include abdominal pain, painful sexual intercourse and pain in the lower back.

Understand that ectopic pregnancies, miscarriage and difficulty in conceiving are all signs of a chlamydia infection that has gone untreated for a long time.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are regularly having sex with more than one partner at a time or do not know your partners well, you should increase the frequency at which you get tested for STDs. Every 3 to 6 months is reasonable in these circumstances.
  • Decrease your chances of contracting chlamydia by using a condom every time you have sexual intercourse. While not completely foolproof, it is your best defense if you are sexually active outside of a long-term, monogamous relationship.
  • Don't be afraid to ask a new sexual partner if he or she has been recently tested for STDs. If you are going to have sex with someone, you have a right to know beforehand whether you could be putting yourself at risk for contracting chlamydia or some other sexually transmitted disease.
  • You should never let a chlamydia infection go untreated. Untreated chlamydia can result in infertility, scarring the fallopian tubes. In rare cases, the infection can spread to the eyes and cause blindness.

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